The Start of a New History

I would never forget the meeting of the F.I.C.C. Asia-Pacific Commission held in Joensuu, Finland on August 1, 1994 on the occasion of the 56th F.I.C.C. Rally. At this meeting, it was finally decided that the member clubs and associations affiliated to the Commission would organize an annual regional rally and take turns in hosting such rally in their domain, for the purpose of cultivating friendship and mutual understanding among people in the region through camping and caravanning. Upon this decision, Korea Camping & Caravanning Federation (K.C.C.F.) expressed its readiness to take the initiative in organizing the first Asia-Pacific Rally in Korea. The F.I.C.C. Council also supported this project by granting its patronage.

This historical event took place in Pijarim Youth Training and Recreation Area in Cheju Island from May 3 to 7, 1995, with 180 participants (104 from Korea, 53 from Japan, 17 from Taiwan, 5 from Hungary, and 1 from Luxembourg).

When the participants arrived at the rally site, all tents had been already set up, each equipped with mats, blankets, and pillows. Furthermore, each participant was given a burner, a lantern and a set of camping cookers as gift. Tables and chairs were also prepared by the organizer.

In the evening of May 4, the K.C.C.F. hosted a welcome party and offered a splendid banquet with barbecue of a whole pig. The participants enjoyed the evening, watching the performance of a soprano singer and a municipal chorus.

On May 5, the opening ceremony began at 10 a.m. in the presence of Mr. Camille Olinger, President of F.I.C.C. In my address I could not help but express my true feeling and said to all the participants, "I am proud of you! You are writing new pages of history of the international camping and caravanning!" The entire ceremony went on essentially in accordance with the tradition of the F.I.C.C. Rally and included parading in national costumes, hoisting of the Asia-Pacific flag accompanied by Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, and solemn declaration of the rally’s opening.

In the afternoon, Japan Auto Camping Federation (J.A.C.) held a friendship party in the open air. The J.A.C. invited all the participants and offered them plenty of sake. Everyone enjoyed chatting and exchanging gifts at the party. They were also entertained by Korean traditional dances and a magic show on the main stage, the latter performed by a member of K.C.C.F. The climax of the evening was a gorgeous reception party hosted by governor of Cheju Province.

The next day, the participants took a bus tour through the beautiful island with unique lava formations and impressive volcanoes. After this pleasant tour, Taiwanese friends held a warm-hearted party where they served various ethnic foods of Taiwan. Of course, they did not forget to offer the Taiwanese strong liquor as well.

The closing ceremony took place on May 7, accompanied by an impressive Korean martial art demonstration. On the ceremony stage , the Asia-Pacific flag was handed over by Mr. Jun-Sung Yoo, President of K.C.C.F. to Mr. Chin-Chang Lin, President of the Camping Association of Republic of China in a formal and yet pleasant manner. Nobody doubted the words of Mr. Lin when he declared, "Next October we will organize the second Asia-Pacific Rally in Taiwan which will be as enjoyable a rally as the first one."

Thus started a new history of camping and caravanning in the Asia-Pacific region.

May 1996 (Asia-Pacific News No.1)